This course focuses on the period 700-1200 AD and is an interdisciplinary degree, which means that you will look at the Viking Age from different angles through the disciplines of English, history and archaeology. The course lays equal emphasis on the study of a variety of sources which come from texts as well as archaeological remains.
Throughout your degree, you will take core modules on the languages and literature, history and archaeology of the Viking Age, plus optional modules drawn from each of these three subject areas. Some of your modules may include practical components and you will have opportunity to go on field trips, both of which can be an exciting way of learning.
You are introduced to literary, linguistic, historical and archaeological evidence for the Viking Age and its subsequent perception. You will take introductory modules in the methodology of historians and archaeologists as well as an introduction to the language and literary culture of England in the first millennium. Optional modules can be taken in language history, archaeology or medieval history.
You will take core modules in the relationship between Vikings and other people of medieval Europe, such as Anglo-Saxons and Franks as described in historical sources, as well as modules in the archaeology of Medieval Britain and Celtic Britain and Ireland. A wide range of optional modules allows you to expand your knowledge of research methodologies and topics in medieval studies. You are also invited to study abroad for one semester at the University of Oslo, Norway.
You will take core and optional modules across all three areas, and you have the opportunity to write a dissertation in an area of your choice.
Nottingham has a vibrant medieval community and you may wish to make the most of seminars and public lectures. You will be confronted with cutting-edge research in your lectures and seminars, but special lectures will give you a chance to hear other important people in the field.
See also the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age
A levels: ABB, including A in English literature or English language, or history at A level
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 100 (minimum 19 with 20 in Speaking)
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 67 (minimum score 67)
For details please see the alternative qualifications page
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Typical year-one modules
Students are introduced to the basics of early medieval studies, with compulsory modules in Archaeology, History and Old English providing the foundation for more specialised degree work in Years 2 and 3.
Examples of compulsory modules:
Introduction and Approaches to Archaeology
The Viking World
Introduction to the Medieval World 500-1200
Beginnings of English
Typical year-two modules
Students take core modules in Norse and Viking Studies and choose further relevant modules from a range offered by Archaeology and English Studies and History.
Blood and Treasure: Vikings, Franks and Anglo-Saxons 793-910
Sisters, Sex and Scribes: writing women in early medieval Britain
Ice and Fire: Myths and Heroes of the North
Typical year-three modules
In Year 3, students may write a dissertation on a subject of their choice, building on the taught modules.
Outlaws, Ghosts and Heroes: Iceland and its Medieval Literature
Kings, Saints and Monsters in England c. 450--850
The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England
Typical optional modules
Sexuality in Early Medieval Europe
Peasants, Slaves and Serfs in the Middle Ages
The Archaeology of the Medieval City
The Literature of the Anglo-Saxons
English Place Names
Names and Identities
Dark Age and Medieval Europe
A course in English fosters many vital skills in communication and professional practice. Researching and presenting your work involves a high degree of creativity, and you will also learn how to be careful and precise in carrying out analysis of a range of subjects.
You will learn to plan your work, and develop the qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to any form of graduate employment. We will help you develop your ability to research and process a large amount of information quickly, and to present the results of your research in an articulate and effective way.
A degree in English from The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training. Our applicants are among the best in the country and as a result, employers expect the best from our graduates.
Graduate career destinations
Graduates in English, as with many arts graduates, find themselves faced with many choices when it comes to selecting a career. No matter what your initial choice may be, you will find that the skills and knowledge that you have developed during your degree will have equipped you for the demanding and often highly changeable nature of the 21st-century workplace.
Careers of our recent graduates have included:
advertising and marketing
specialist archive and collection work
communications officers for charities, political organisations, government
business, banking, accountancy, law and insurance
local and central government administration and politics
primary or secondary school teachers
teachers of English as a foreign language
human resource management
Some students may decide that another year (or more) of study may give them an edge when it comes to seeking out a career and may, for example, choose to undertake postgraduate study or teacher training.
Many of our graduates remain in touch with us; we invite some of them to return to give talks and provide advice at our School-organised Undergraduate Careers Days, while others act as mentors to current students.
Careers support and advice
We have a Centre for Career Development on campus, with a dedicated careers adviser who works with the School of English to deliver an extensive range of careers services. As well as helping students individually, the centre also hosts regular group events for English students on campus, with a dedicated careers adviser who works with the School of English to deliver an extensive range of careers services. As well as helping students individually, the centre also hosts regular group events for English students.
The School also has a careers co-ordinator who is happy to meet students to talk through their career ideas.
School Careers Day
The School organises an annual Careers Day and invites graduates from the School to come and talk about their career choices. Previous Careers Days have included talks from recent alumni working in management at BT, BBC journalism, the RSC, the University’s graduate trainee scheme as well as providing information on PGCE (teach training), law conversion and postgraduate study. Podcasts of recent talks are available.
Average starting salary
The average starting salary for 2010/11 full-time graduates of the School of English was £17.645.*
*Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time, 2010/11.
Key Information Sets (KIS)
KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.